November 17, 2006

Little bit o' Replicant...

by Chris Randall

We're just finishing up the major coding on Replicant, and now moving in to the usability phase, where we tune all the parameters to useful ranges and such. During the course of development, I make a project that I use throughout to check the audio. Every time Adam sends me a new build, I plop it in my VST folder and proceed to give it a workout. This is also the time where we start to think about presets and such. Once a plugin is more or less working, I start to use it in my projects, so I'll know _how_ to use it when I write the presets.

In any case, I thought you guys would get a kick out of hearing the testing track I have going this time around. Here is a 8-measure loop of the output of Nuendo. Replicant is, in this instance, on the snare that appears on the 2 of every measure. In the first four bars, it is operating forward, and in the second four bars, it is in reverse mode. (There will be two separate reverse functions, with randomization, in case you were curious. More about that later.)

In any event, I should mention that there is no automation whatsoever in this track, other than the reverse switch. There is _so_ much randomization in this plug, with dedicated controls for each random feature, that it can really run the gamut, from a simple looper to complete haywire aleatoric craziness. Whether you'll find that useful in your music is up to you. But at any rate, that's a (tiny) taste of some random delay action.

EDIT: Okay, per request, here are two examples of the Amen break getting chopped by Replicant. I know that using this break is long past irony, and getting in to extreme redundancy, but the benefit is, of course, that everyone knows the break well, so you thus have a good idea of what's happening.

Example 2. In this example, "IGNORE" is on, so Replicant finishes whatever it starts before it will receive a new trigger. I've set it to be about 75% likely to trigger on beats 1, 5, 9, and 13. I've also set the LPF sweep to its most extreme (no resonance, though.)

Example 3. In this one, I've set Seq Mode to "RETRIG" and the "RANDOM BEATS" slider to about 40%, so any given beat is about 40% likely to trigger the loop engine, and any time a retrigger is received, the loop engine starts anew. I've turned the filter sweep and "DECAY" features off.



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Nov.17.2006 @ 9:10 PM
I want one.

Looking forward to it. The speed of the repeats seems to be adjustable, is the order (so for example you could skip repeat #2 but hear #3)?


Nov.17.2006 @ 9:23 PM
My only problem with the typical random is that sometimes the random instance you hear during playback sounds better than the random instance that gets printed. I have seen random implementations that allow you to set the random seed via a control, so that you get the same random (seeming) sequence every repetition, it would be nice to have that option.

I'm not the diehard experimentalist I once was....


Nov.17.2006 @ 9:48 PM
Chris Randall
I actually agree with that, to a certain extent. I didn't know what that clip was going to sound like until I rendered it and played it back. However, that's part of the fun.

It's worth mentioning that all the randomness in this plugin is perfectly controllable or defeatable, making it a rather sophisticated delay or looping vehicle.

And to answer shamann's question, there are two methods to determine where the delays/loops will occur. In the first method (selected beats) you can just click around the ring on the beats that you want the loop to happen on. (The likelihood of this occuring on any given beat is controllable.) So, if you want a four 16th note delay to occur on beats 5 and 11, every single time, this is easy to do.

In the second method (random beats) you have a slider that determines how likely any step will trigger the looping engine. This is where things can get really out of hand, of course.

Then, if you refer back to the screenshot, you'll notice in the motion section a switch called "SEQ MODE." The two modes of operation are "RETRIG" and "IGNORE." In the former mode, if a new trigger event happens, by whatever method described above, it will start the looping engine over with the audio from that beat. If "IGNORE" is selected, it will complete whatever state it was in when the last trigger event happened before it allows new events to occur.

So, it's a fairly complex plugin. As I said, in its simplest form, it is a delay that can be triggered on specific beats, but it can do much more than that.


Edit: in reading that back, I don't actually think I answered the question. No, the repeat events, once they're triggered, play out according to what the conditions were at the time the event was initially triggered. So, if you have the random on the loop length set, and a trigger occurs that selects 1/4 notes, and the number of repeats is 5, you're going to get 5 quarter note loops before anything else happens, unless "RETRIG" is selected and a new event occurs.

As I said, this plugin has a bit of a learning curve to really get in to its true nature.


Nov.18.2006 @ 12:15 AM
throw us an AMEN break thru that bad boy!!! haha!

Nov.18.2006 @ 12:37 AM
Once again, you've proven to be a super special bastard kind of tease. In any case, it sounds cool/dub-y as hell so far. are you guys taking pre-orders?

Nov.18.2006 @ 9:37 AM
sounds good,
can you have repeats on the repeats?

Nov.18.2006 @ 10:00 AM
Now this is gonna be a really cool plug-in! Wow, i can't wait.

Nov.18.2006 @ 10:15 AM
Now after listening to the clip, where is the difference to beat-repeat?

Nov.18.2006 @ 12:54 PM
Chris Randall
Ours is bluer.

Seriously, though, as I've said in every one of these threads repeatedly, the net result in ours will be strikingly similar to Beat Repeat at its simplest form. However, ours has resonant filters, panning, reverse, bit reduction, and much more sophisticated programming options.



Nov.18.2006 @ 3:55 PM
brandon daniel
Not to mention being usable in any VST/AU host, not just Ableton Live.

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